Basics

216 N Marshall Ave
Litchfield MN 55355

(320)693-2483

HOURS
Monday - Thursday 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Friday & Saturday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Closed Sunday

Friday, June 28, 2013

Road Trip!

by Beth Cronk, Litchfield head librarian

Here we are at the Fourth of July.  Are you enjoying your summer so far?  Are you looking for some new things to do?  We have new books at the library that can lead you into some fun summer activities.

Keep Out!  Build Your Own Backyard Clubhouse sounds like a fun time for kids and dads.  The book takes readers step by step from gathering the right tools and materials to building the roof and doing the finishing work.  It’s written for both kids and adults, with ideas for customizing your project.

If cooking is your idea of fun, check out Put ‘em Up! Fruit: A Preserving Guide and Cookbook: Creative Ways to Put ‘em Up, Tasty Ways to Use ‘em Up.  The growing season is behind schedule this year, but strawberries could be your first project out of the book.   Some of the recipes sound pretty interesting, like five-spice plum sauce, blueberry ketchup, and maraschino cherries.  Can you really make those at home?! 

For many people, summer means camping.  If you’d like some advice before you give it a try or if you want to improve your experience of roughing it, take a look at Camping’s Top Secrets: A Lexicon of Expert Camping Tips.  We have the 25th anniversary version of the book, which just came out in March.  It covers the whole experience, including things like forecasting the weather, treating drinking water, handling animal encounters, and using maps and GPS.  Maybe if I read it sometime, camping won’t seem like so much work.  But I doubt it.

If you’d rather drive around and see interesting scenery on your vacation (me, me!), try the National Geographic Guide to Scenic Highways & Byways: The 300 Best Drives in the U.S.  The book describes 300 scenic routes all around the United States, including history and points of interest.  This one was also just published in March, so it’s very up-to-date.  Check out the department of transportation website for each state you’re visiting, of course, for the most up-to-date information on road construction, which could throw a wrench into your plan for a beautiful drive.

Looking for something different in your travels?  We have books that guide you to the less-traveled, less-crowded places.  We have brand-new Off the Beaten Path books about Connecticut, Colorado, and Georgia.  We also have National Geographic’s Secrets of the National Parks: The Experts’ Guide to the Best Experiences Beyond the Tourist Trail.  This book seems like a great idea for those of us who have seen the main areas of places like the Badlands and Wind Cave many times and would like to find something we haven’t seen before.

Do you like to go out to eat at interesting restaurants during your summer trips?  Guy Fieri’s new book Diners, Drive-Ins, Dives: The Funky Finds in Flavortown: America’s Classic Joints and Killer Comfort Food can give you plenty of interesting ideas.  A few of them are right in the Twin Cities because several of the people who work on his show are from there, so you can visit some of the Food Network star’s favorite restaurants with just a short drive. 

There’s plenty of summer left to get going on any of these activities.  Or just stop in to get some light summer entertainment in the form of a thriller, a mystery, or a romance novel.  We’ll have a display of some of those “beach reads” near our movies this month.

Poetry reading at the library on Saturday

Minnesota poet Van Anderson will be reading from his new book Tending the Garden on Saturday, June 29, at 11:00 a.m. in our library meeting room.  Van has been published in the Star Tribune, the Pioneer Press, Minneapolis-St. Paul Magazine, and many literary magazines.  He is a retired Edina high school teacher.  His new collection was just published this month by Northstar Press.

Join us for a great cultural program!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Books for Youngish Adults

By Jan Pease

Years ago a middle school English teacher lamented the fact that we didn’t really have books for teens in the Litchfield library.  It became a dream of mine to have what we in the library world call young adult books, which are for ages 13 and up,  people who in my opinion aren’t really youngish adults.  But I digress.

These brand new books for teens are found in the Litchfield Young Adult section, which is housed on the far eastern side of the children’s department. (My next dream is to have space closer to the adult department so teens don’t have to come into the children’s area to find books.)

These books are appropriate for older teens, but adults will enjoy them, too.


Teri Terry is from Canada, but has lived in France, Australia, and now in United Kingdom.  Her first novel, “Slated,” is set in a future that could almost happen.  Criminals are given medical amnesia, literally a clean slate, and given a second chance.  They have to relearn everything, including a new identity and a new family.  Teens who have been slated are closely monitored for behavior, and only have one chance to be rehabilitated.   If you couldn’t remember who you are or what you did, and can’t really trust anyone, how would you survive?

“Orleans,” by Sherri L. Smith, is another futuristic look at what the world could look like when global warming causes even more destructive hurricanes, storm surges, and the rising of sea level.  When a new disease emerges, people become grouped by blood type rather than class or race.  The heroine takes a terrifying journey through devastated New Orleans, trying to save a baby and find it a better life.


Catherine Fisher already has loyal fans because of her compelling series, “Incarceron.”   The book description for her new book, “Obsidian Mirror,” states:  “With superb world-building that includes the real world, the faery world, and a dystopic future, this hauntingly astonishing adventure is the start of a new trilogy from the master of the sci-fi/fantasy genre, Catherine Fisher.  Fans of Orson Scott Card, Dr. Who, Shakespeare, and Blade Runner won't be disappointed.”   I couldn’t put it better, but this description has inspired me to read this one.


“The Different Girl,” by Gordon Dahlquist, is one of those books that make you wonder when you read the reviews at amazon.com.  People seem to either love or hate this book about four identical girls whose serene life on an island unravels when an outsider is blown ashore during a storm.  I don’t want to give   away the plot, but ”The Different Girl” reminds me of the classic “Star Trek” episodes where Captain Kirk encounters characters who don’t realize that they are androids.  I haven’t read “The Different Girl,” yet, but it’s on my list. 


These books and 10,000 more, are waiting for you in the Children’s Department of the library.






Saturday, June 15, 2013

Book sale today

Our Friends of the Litchfield Public Library book sale is today, 10-4.  There is a huge selection available, with carts loaded up and extra carts added.  You can find many romance paperbacks for your summer vacations, plus a nice group of books on animals and nature.  As always, we offer adult hardcover and paperback fiction and nonfiction, children's books (for only 10 cents!), and many VHS movies.  Stop in and find some fantastic deals!

Friday, June 14, 2013

It's summer all over!

by Beth Cronk, Litchfield head librarian

Summer programming in all of the Meeker County libraries is underway.  I manage the Grove City and Dassel public libraries as well as Litchfield, and our staff is running a Cosmos summer library program again this year.  You’ve heard about Litchfield’s summer programs from Jan in previous weeks.  I know that people who live in all parts of the county keep an eye on Litchfield media and visit our website, so let me tell you about what is happening in the other communities.

All three of the other towns are offering the “Dig Into Reading” summer reading program for kids ages three to eleven or twelve.  At Dassel, the teen program is “Groundbreaking Reads” like it is at Litchfield, and at Grove City it’s called “Beneath the Surface”.  It works basically the same at all of our locations: 1) sign up and get a book bag and a reading log; 2) fill out the reading log to track your reading time; 3) turn in completed reading logs to earn prizes, all summer long. 

If you get a chance, stop in to the Grove City library this month to see their cute garden exhibit in the corner of the children's area.  They plan to change the decorating theme each month to other fun digging-related things.

Grove City is offering special “Dig Into Reading” programs on four Mondays this summer: June 24, July 8, July 22, and August 12, from 1:30 to 2:15.  They also will be holding three “Dig Into 4-H Fun @ the Library” programs on Mondays.  Two have already happened in June, but one more will be held on July 15. 

Grove City has some great teen programs that happen all year round, with a group of regulars who like to get together.  They’d love to welcome more people!  Margaret leads it and she is so much fun.  There are two more “teen nites” happening this summer: Monday, July 15, and Monday, August 19, from 3:30 to 5 p.m.  They’ve also just started a manga/anime club.  That group will meet again on Monday, July 1, and Monday, August 5, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. 

The Dassel library has a storyhour every Friday morning at 10:00, year-round.  This summer the June storyhours have a gardening theme.  In July and early August, the themes will be archaeology, dinosaurs, and mummies, and machines that dig.  A bit later in August, the theme will be burrowing animals.  Elisabeth reads stories, sings songs, and leads the kids in playing rhythm instruments, and some weeks the kids make a craft.  If you live in the Dassel area, have young kids, and haven’t gone to that storyhour in the past year, you should come and see what a fun program Elisabeth does.

If you missed Professor Marvel’s Amazing Archaeological Adventure at Litchfield, you can catch it at the Dassel library on Monday, July 22, at 6:30 p.m.  It really was amazing!  Professor Marvel had the crowd of 150 people laughing: kids, adults, and even teens.  It’s very entertaining and I highly recommend it.  It’s free to attend and you don’t need to sign up.

The Minnesota Zoomobile will be presenting programs at both the Litchfield and Dassel libraries on Wednesday, August 21.  There will be live animals to learn about!  It will be fun for the whole family and free to attend. 

We are offering a summer program at the former Cosmos Elementary building again this year.  It began last week and runs through July.  Every Tuesday from 4-6 p.m., Jennifer from Grove City Library and Elle from Litchfield Library will be there with bins of children’s books to borrow, prizes to pick up for turning in reading logs, stories to listen to, and crafts to do.  Kids of all ages are welcome, as well as their parents and caregivers with them.  We are setting up a couple of special programs in July that we’ll be announcing soon.


Whichever of these towns you can get to this summer, keep the kids reading and busy by visiting the library!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Catalog working again

Our catalog is working again.  If you experience technical difficulties, let us know.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Problems with our website

Our catalog is having some issues.  You cannot sign into your account, request items, or do keyword searches.  If you stop in or call us with your library card, we can renew and request items for you from the library side of the software.  We apologize for the inconvenience.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

This 'n That

By Jan Pease

A very large tree has sprouted near the children’s desk.  It is a book display celebrating the summer reading theme, “Dig Into Reading,” one of the largest and most dramatic displays ever seen at the Litchfield library.  A giant flag on the east wall of the children’s department is titled “Where Do You Read?”   If you give us a picture of yourself reading in your favorite spot, we will put it up on the wall.  Digger the mole is hiding here and there in the children’s department, and children are guessing how many gummy worms are in the jar.  Summer things are already happening here, even if our patrons come in wearing hoodies and jackets.  Come in, get your children signed up for summer reading, and help them avoid summer reading loss.  Math worksheets are also available at the children’s desk, because children lose even more of their math skills over the summer break. 

As a younger mom, I didn’t understand how much students lost over the summer.  We always tried to get out daughter outside and doing.  She seemed to do all right in school, and usually tested right at grade level.  Now that I know that students usually lose about 2.6 months of math advancement over the summer, I know that I should have been very diligent about that during the summer.  Reading wasn’t as much of an issue at our house, because when our daughter discovered our  treasure trove of history books, she read at a college level without knowing it.  Sometimes ignorance is bliss.  

Please give your children the gift of experiences this summer.  Visits to the library, to museums, to parks, to plays or musicals, talking to older people in your family all provide rich memories that will stay in the hearts of your children forever.

Classes visited the library the final weeks of May and first week of June.  I visited Ripley School to make up for a visit cancelled by the weather, and also had the privilege of visiting the Kindergarten classes.  We enjoyed reading Mo Willems’ new book, “That is NOT a Good Idea.”   Students read the book aloud with me, especially as my voice became weary.  The anticipated ending of the book is that the goose becomes a key ingredient in soup, but Mr. Willems gives it a twist.  The goose shoves the fox into the pot and serves her children fox soup.  Perhaps it was a little too twisted for the youngest students, but they laughed and laughed.   


On a personal note, I’m enjoying rehearsals for a reader’s theater presentation of “Steel Magnolias,” which will be presented June 22nd at 7 and June 23rd at 3 at the Litchfield Opera House.  I am honored to be among a circle of friends gathered together by Carole Wendt.  I love to act, but have trouble learning lines and songs these days.  To be honest, moving around onstage is also a problem for me.   So reader’s theater is perfect.   The challenge of finding a character’s voice and becoming that person, without makeup and costumes, can be difficult, but it’s rewarding.  Ya’ll come over to the opera house and see us, y’hear?

Friday, June 7, 2013

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Dig Into Reading and Groundbreaking Reads -- Summer reading programs begin today

Dig Into Reading!
Our summer reading program begins today, but you can sign up anytime, all summer.  Sign up at the children's department desk and get a book bag and a reading log to start keeping track of your reading time this summer.  Open to ages 3-17.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Back to normal!

Our computer system is back up and running as normal.

You may see a slight delay in your items being checked in if you returned them in the past two days, as we catch up.  Anything returned Monday night through early this morning will be checked in as though it was returned on Monday.

Continued limited service

Our computer system is still down this morning.  We hope to return to full service soon.  Thank you for your continued patience!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Minimal library service today

Due to a software upgrade, we will have limited library service available today, Tuesday, June 4.

The public computers will be working, including internet access.  Our wifi will be available.  You will be able to take books, CDs, and movies off the shelf and check them out.

We will not be able to access your record, look up information about books and other materials, order items, renew your items, create library cards, or collect fines.  Books returned today will be checked in as though they were returned yesterday.

You will not be able to access the library catalog or your record or our e-book service.

We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience.